Okay I'm going to mention a rather odd entry here, but one which people will recognize if they saw the topic in new releases.
about a mud that I'm getting heavily into at the moment which is Flexible survival.
Firstly I will say up front the game is very adult in theme, since the setting is an apocalyptic world over run with sex crazed mutants, thus occasionally your interactions with npcs or monsters can be somewhat extreme in nature, (particularly if you lose in combat), however if you can take that with a spoon full of salt there is a very good game and a very nice community here, and you can even limit some of the erotica from combat by taking certain perks such as "control freak", "cold fish" and "graceful in defeat"
Personally I tend to find the descriptions of being ravaged by a hermaphrodite Gryphon and then mutating to grow wings, blue fur, a beak, paws and both male and female genitals so overthetop and crazy they don't bother me too much, indeed I began trying out first the single player flexible survival rpg, then the mud to test out whether I was truly free of my genophobia, since in the past I found the single player game far too uncomfortable to play, but have stuck with it and found some quite exceptional games in there.
The multiplayer game has extremely unique combat, but as per this topic Crafting is a major focus in the game with several crafting skills that can be raised. All in game items from weapons and armour to food, drugs and furniture must be built. This can be done with salvage which can be gained through battle or other methods. You then need a recipe for the item, and recipes for any other modifyers you want to add on to the item, as well as the necessary craft skills and salvage, for example to craft a drug you might need some skill in craft chemical and craft energy, and likewise some chemical and edible salvage, where as to craft a gun you'd need some skill in craft mechanical, a recipe and some .
common salvage. What is quite unique with crafting is that as well as the initial items, you can also craft which give items different properties, for example if you have the recipe for the modifyer "miniturised" and add it onto an item, that item will take up less of your inventory space, while if you add the modifyer "Efficient" the item will take less energy in battle to use.
Also, on the web interface part of the game (which functions like a separate browser game in some ways and an extention to the mud in others), you can undertake what is called a crafting bounty, this is where you get told to make an item, and if make it and have it in your inventory, you get rewarded.
finding recipes (as well as finding quests, npcs, different forms to mutate into etc and exploring generally), is heavily encouraged, indeed you get rewarded for exploration as well as crafting.
For those not interested in combat or people wanting a change, Flexible survival also has another quite unique system of advancement called jobs.
This is where you go to a city which people are attempting to rebuild and use your characters' professions and skills to do various needed jobs. For instance characters with the job of Doctor, researcher or teacher might have the research skill, and one job available is scientist, looking through scientific journals to try and find useful information to help rebuilding programs.
When you do a job, you do a dice roll vs your skill, and if your successful get xp and such, as well as perhaps other items.
This is a system I really like, especially since it's a great way to advance and gives you the feeling your helping in the games' world. You can even do this through the games' web interface, which is great if you just want to quickly use some patrol points and get some xp, however imho it's more fun in the mud iteself since then you get to walk around and read descriptions.
Btw, though not part of this topic, the web interface actually makes the game almost function like a browser game in some respects since there are a few activities you can do to advance on the web, as well as some easy ways to train and add things to your character, you can even do something on the web at the same time your doing something else on the mud if you wish, which is freaky but fun. The web activities also tend to be more automated, indeed I'm fighting a monster in another browser window right now as I write this .
there is also fishing,mining and animal racing as separate minigames not to mention farming.
In farming you spend a few turns harvesting and looking after crops and get paid for your time, but also need to prepare the soil etc, in mining you go to a dangerous area and mine to get salvage, and in animal racing you have a mutant racer who competes in races every day and who you can train or feed to increase their stats.
Actually, racing is pretty cool since you get a description of the race, who is in the lead, how your racer acts at obstacles etc.
In rp terms, the game does have roleplaying, some of which even awards characters with experience and such, however rp is not enforced for those who do not wish to. With the theme of the game some of this rp is erotic in nature (though not all of it by any means), however I'm quite impressed at the way the game has a heavy amount of restrictions to avoid those who don't want to be involved in that sort of thing keeping out of it, ---- indeed the community I've found extremely friendly, very helpful, and not the least bit crass or lude.
The game even has a system where people can run judged scenes which effectively function like tabletop games in which a judge, acting as gm creates a scenario, and players can roll their various skills etc, as well as type out rp to get through it.
I've not tried this yet myself since I'm currently learning the game (and the web interface), so have enough to explore without getting heavily into rp, but it is something I may try in the future, ---- though i might leave the erotic side of things to others .
I do not think the game is like Hell moo from what I've heard, since the community are very helpful and friendly, your never forced into anything you don't want to, and the hole ethos is generally a pleasant one, despite the chances of being ravaged by various mutated beasties if you lose in battle .
If Anyone is interested at giving the game a try you can sign up and create a web account here with this link and use your favourite mud client on flexiblesurvival.com port 2000.
Oh, and yes, the link to the web interface is my referal link, but hay!
With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)